A GLIMPSE OF THE RAINFOREST - PART FOUR

CENARRHENES NITIDA                Proteaceae
Native Plum

Cenarrhenes nitida
A spreading shrub or small tree to 10 metres in rainforests of the west, south-west and Central Plateau of Tasmania. Leaves up to 12 cm long oblanceolate with a blunt tip, cleanly and decisively toothed; when crushed they have a  nauseating smell.

Flowers white, nearly 1 cm across in near terminal axillary spikes; each has 4 pointed white lobes, 4 thick stamens, one with a touch sensitive hair on the anther which triggers the pollination mechanism.  Fruit, large purple spherical drupe up to 1.5 cm wide.

Flowering November-December.

Cultivation has proved very challenging and plants difficult to propagate and then grow very slowly, although young plants are often seen in the wild, growing on poor soil in rainforest or as a dense shrub on quartzite hills.

Tas endemic. The only other member of this genus is restricted to New Caledonia.   
Information courtesy of the Launceston Field Naturalists Club and Australian Plants
Society, Hobart.




ZIERIA ARBORESCENS                    Rutaceae
Stinkwood
Zieria arborescens
A tall shrub or small tree up to 5 m found in wet forests. Leaves opposite, trifoliate, dark green with disagreeable and unmistakable smell when crushed. Flowers in loose stalked clusters in leaf axils near ends of branches. Each flower has 4 white or pink broadly elliptical petals. Browsing cattle may be poisoned by eating this plant.  Flowering in spring. Widespread in wet gullies and forests.  
Tas. Vic.

             Information courtesy Launceston Field Naturalists Club


ACRADENIA FRANKLINIAE                Rutaceae
Whitey Wood
Acradenia frankliniae

A shrub or small  tree with widely divergent branches. The flowers  are clustered at the tips of the branches and sometimes form an outstanding display of white. Each flower is small with prominent stamens.  The opposite leaves are divided into three leaflets which are glossy, slightly serrated and leathery. Prominent glands are present on the leaves. Flowering - early summer. Easy to strike from cuttings. Requires a moist shady environment to thrive in a garden.
Distribution: restricted to riversides in the west of Tasmania.
Acradenia is endemic to Tasmania and has just one species.
Can be mistaken for Zieria arborescens.


ORITES DIVERSIFOLIA                  Proteaceae
Orites diversifolia
Found in sub-alpine woodland. O.diversifolia has alternating, stiff, linear leaves, often with serrated edges but are variable.  Attractive white flowers in axillary spikes in early summer, although the flowering season can be irregular.  Propagation from cuttings but slow growing in cultivation. Needs well composted soil, ample moisture and cool location. Can make a small tree in good conditions.

Related species: Tasmania has four endemic species of Orites. Three may be found on Mt Wellington (Hobart). O. diversifolia is quite common in the subalpine woodlands below the Organ Pipes.  O. revoluta is another alpine species, with short narrow leaves which are revolute (curving under tightly at the edge). The flowers are quite showy. O. acicularis is a dense much-branched shrub about 1 m tall and yellow-green needle-like leaves which makes it quite distinctive in appearance. The insignificant flowers are small, and creamy white. The fruit is a follicle (pod which opens on one side only).  O. milliganii is restricted to western mountains and has distinctive holly-like leaves. All the species have persistent
follicles. 


PART ONE               PART TWO             PART THREE            PART FOUR            PART FIVE

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